|'Towards zero carbon by 2019...'|
The government has set challenging, yet attainable, targets for energy consumption in new developments. By the year 2016, all new homes are to be zero carbon. Additionally, by the year 2019, all new commercial buildings too need to be zero carbon. The construction industry needs to respond to the challenge, and embrace a new era of design whilst maintaining a cost effective framework for investors and developers.
This is an exciting time for forward thinking designers and developers. The buildings of today will secure an energy efficient future. The benefits of low carbon design are numerous – low running costs, alleviating fuel poverty, increased comfort, and of course reduced emissions.
Increasing emphasis is being placed on renewable energy generation onsite, whilst air-tightness and thermal bridging are being highlighted as improvement areas for thermal performance of new buildings.
Services for New Buildings:
|PART L COMPLIANCE|
A vital ingredient in the planning approval package is the Part L Compliance report. This is the fundamental document underlining all things energy within a specified building. A well thought out approach is necessary when producing this report, as well as sound technical knowledge of approved software, in our case Integrated Environmental Systems (IES).
Working alongside the design team, the energy consultant will advise on certain passive features of the building which could have a large influence on the overall energy performance. Thereafter key building elements and equipment will be selected to create a building that performs to the given criteria. A number of computer models will be generated to test different combinations of equipment, insulation levels and lighting levels.
The outcome is an optimised scenario for year round low energy use. Keeping Blue aims to always improve on the TER (target emission rate), rather than simply aiming for a pass.
We can come alongside the design team at any point in the process, from pre-planning to late changes required in order to meet ‘As Built’ requirements. Keeping Blue is able to offer very reasonable fees, most of our work can be completed in-house however we are also able to outsource to trusted specialists for specific work (eg BREEAM, CfSH).
|MECHANICAL BUILDING SERVICES DESIGN|
A new building can often be seen as a clean canvas, with infinite scope for end use and fitting out. Designing an HVAC with flexibility for future use is key to ensuring a comfortable environment, as well as efficient usage.
With this in mind, we offer advice based on experience of systems which have worked well in the past, combined with innovative new technologies that improve efficiency and overall building performance. These include Combined Heat and Power systems, Ground Source Heat Pumps (pictured), Building Management Systems, Lighting Sensors, Multi Split Systems to name a few.
For many, HVAC equipment should do it's job without being seen or heard. This is an ideal which can only come close to being achieved through sensible selection and positioning of equipment. Trust Keeping Blue to offer the right advice for your building.
|OVERHEATING ANALYSIS (DYNAMIC SIMULATION MODELLING)|
What does a zero carbon home look like? What about a zero carbon school, or gymnasium? And how can these be built at a feasible cost? These are questions that need to be answered in the next 3 - 6 years, or else the entire construction industry could come to a grinding halt. One of the greatest challenges to overcome in designing low carbon buildings, is the potential for new buildings to overheat.
With the use of the approved software package, IES Virtual Environment, we are able to analyse the optimal approach for low carbon development, whilst utilising existing technology and keeping capital outlay to a minimum. We are able to assess bulk airflow using the MacroFlo package, combined with accurate solar gain analysis through the use of SunCast.
Indeed, the technology does already exist to turn the zero carbon dream into a reality, and over the next few years with demand bringing prices down, zero carbon will become the norm. The future has arrived, so to speak.
|'FIRST PRINCIPLES' ENGINEERING APPROACH|
Going back to first principles is the key approach taken by the energy consultant. The saying 'garbage in, garbage out' is certainly true of building energy modelling software, thus it is often beneficial to perform initial calculations using fundamental formulae and equations.
A rule of thumb approach can often lead to oversized equipment being installed. Take the scenario where a pump is initially designed with a safety factor incorporated, sometime later the pump is replaced with a slightly larger model, once again to be on the safe side, and this pattern repeats itself. The knock-on effect is a building with equipment running inefficiently at low duty - at a higher cost. This can be avoided through our trusted approach.
Following the initial calculations, we offer professional building energy modelling services, including Part L assessments. The building is initially modelled based on the architects drawings, these can be submitted as CAD's or PDF's. From here the building model is transferred into the energy modelling software, where a full analysis can be performed. Details such as insulation levels, lighting levels, HVAC equipment, building usage etc are all included to create a simulation of the annual energy performance of the building.